Home Alone Blues: 7 Ways to Beat Teen Boredom

Shannon is a 16 year old from Maryland. She enjoys writing, is pro recycling, and loves the Jonas Brothers.

Before I had a summer job, I spent a lot of time lying around the house, feeling like my summer days were slipping by me and I was completely wasting them. During the summer months, many teenagers without licenses or jobs have no specific way to occupy their time. Even though sleeping in and watching daytime television is fun for the first few weeks, it gets old quickly and suddenly you’re left with an endless amount of time to fill while you parents are at work. For the past few weeks I’ve been hearing from my friends “I’m sooo bored” and “All I do is sit at home all day”, so I thought it would be good to suggest some activities that teens can do when they are stuck at home.

World Wide Web

One of the most popular things to do when you’re home alone is to surf the web. But after you’ve visited all your favorite websites, the bright screen that you’re staring can become dull and mind-numbing. Instead of aimlessly wandering and possibly falling onto a webpage that you definitely shouldn’t have, surf around with caution and look up things that you find to be fun and entertaining. Some of my favorite sites include:

1) YouTube

Of course YouTube is number one. It’s an endless library of videos on anything and everything. The categories range for television shows to stand up comedy. And it’s free. Who could want more than that?

2) Free Napster

This website has an extensive music collection and is updated regularly. You can listen to any type of music you want for free. It’s fantastic.

3) Cool Math

Yes, I admit that the name of the site immediately makes you think that it’s school-related and for educational purposes only, but that’s not completely true. It is a great place to find help or to practice if you’re looking to sharpen your math skills but they also have an assortment of challenging but enjoyable online games that can be discovered when you click on Spike’s Games in the lefthand column.

4) Teen News

As it says in the title, this website is a great source of “teen” news. It provides you with updates on topics that teens are interested in, ranging from celebrity gossip to movie reviews to fashion. I like to browse the articles and read up on all my favorites.

Experiment in the Kitchen

Open up a cookbook and get started! There are countless recipes  for tasty dishes and scrumptious treats that are simple and don’t require a lot of previous experience in the kitchen. However, I do advise you to get the green light from your parents before you start your cooking adventure, just to check and make sure that you have permission to use their stove and whatever is included in the ingredients.

Get Active

Ahh, the great outdoors. Even though it’s hot, exercise is always a great way to keep your body moving during the summer. This doesn’t mean that you have to engage in an intense workout on a daily basis, but activities like walking or bike riding are an effective way to enjoy the fresh air and burn a few calories at the same time.

Bored Games

The first word is purposely misspelled. During the summer, bored games (usually referred to as board games) can be an excellent source of entertainment when you have siblings or other people at your house. There is a vast selection to choose from —Monopoly, Sorry, Scrabble, Bananagrams and Outburst, just to name a few. Play the ones you have at home or go out and look for something new. They aren’t too expensive so parents usually don’t mind purchasing them. Games like Cadoo or Cranium are not only exciting but also stimulating for the mind, so they keep you interested and your brain working at the same time.

Card or party games are a satisfying alternative to board games. They only require a pack of cards or yourself. Here are a few of helpful sites that list party games that can get you past the classic game of Charades:

1) Whose Line is it Anyway? FAQ-Games

This site lists games from the show Who’s Line is it Anyway, where the guests play comical and entertaining improvisational game.

This website lists party games that are broken down into categories that make select easy.

Dance Party

Create a playlist on your IPod or pop some of your favorite CDs into the stereo and have a jam session. This is super fun and a great stress reliever. Take advantage of the fact that you’re home alone and blast the music that no one else in your family likes. Sing as loud and dance as long as you want.

Tye-Dye Time

Tye-dye is so much fun! The kits aren’t costly and come with easy-to-follow instructions. You can dye pretty much anything you want as long as it is white. Shirts, shorts, socks, dresses—try anything you can get your hands on. I suggest loading up on your rubber bands so that you can use them to create designs on your items.


Who doesn’t love getting email? It’s not as fantastic as a handwritten letter but getting email is pretty great too. I mean, I rarely get emails where people are actually writing just to write—not to ask me for something, or try to sell me something, or notify me about something. Go through your contact list on your email account and write to someone just for the sake of writing. E-relationships are a good way to stay in touch with relatives and friends who aren’t into the Facebook or Myspace scene. They’ll enjoy hearing from you as much as you’ll enjoy writing to them.

From Vanessa: How great are my interns, I love their articles!

5 Responses to “Home Alone Blues: 7 Ways to Beat Teen Boredom”

  1. Rajni
    July 23, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    You have given nice tips for today’s techno savvy teens and kids. But, I think we should also not forget simple pleasures of reading good books. Kids are mostly busy with their studies and other activities during the academic year. But, certainly some nice books, like some novels by Charles Dickens or Tom Sawyer or some imaginative books like ‘The Lord of the Rings”, and some very touching books like “To Kill a Mocking Bird” or “The Yearling” – these books can give wings to the children’s minds.
    And their memories will stay in mind forever!

  2. Vanessa
    July 23, 2008 at 1:01 pm #


    Thank you for this! You are right and I am actually working on a post with my teen interns as we speak for best books for read by their age!

    Thank you for adding


  3. Jonathan Whitcomb
    December 9, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    Here’s an unorthodox approach to teen boredom: Get excited about nonfiction cryptozoology encounters. Here is a page on a child care site that addresses teen boredom:


    I know of a teenager in Washington state who wrote his own book on cryptozoology.

  4. Anne Leedom
    March 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Have you checked out http://www.teenpalz.com? We offer over 100 enrichment and educational activities for teens…all online using video and email, text, etc. Let us know what you think!


  1. Five Moms : Stopping Teen Cough Medicine Abuse » Blog Archive » Challenge Your Kids to Beat the Lazy Days of Summer - August 11, 2008

    […] for you kids when they say they are bored, I found a great blog post from On Teens Today that gives 7 Ways to Beat Teen Boredom in the summer. The post was written by Shannon, a 16-year-old girl from Maryland, who explained: […]

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